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Food at Hofstra\'s Student Center
Food at Hofstra\'s Student Center
Original photo by Raina Rahman
Wellness > Health

Being a Flexitarian at College is a BIG Flex

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hofstra chapter.

Coming from a Bangladeshi household, cultural cuisine brought us together at the table. From fish curry to beef biryani, I grew up eating animal products; without them, the meal would be incomplete. Attending Hofstra was a culture shock as I discovered that my once-hated vegetables could be the star of any meal. 

As a community health major, I am learning more about nutrition and the benefits of eating more whole foods, which piqued my interest in a flexitarian diet– a semi-vegetarian style of eating. Cutting back on meat to consume more plant-based foods, it’s up to your discretion how much you want to limit as there are no hard rules, and its flexibility allows for one to pace themselves in a less restrictive and more inclusive manner. This lifestyle is all about moderation and substitutions. 

The health benefits, environmental friendliness and affordability inspired my personal transition from carnivore to flexitarian. Last semester, I started incorporating a flexitarian diet into my life by deviating from my eating habits and societal norms. From swapping chicken with roasted vegetables and reaching for a veggie burger instead of beef, these alternatives have made me feel less bloated and fuller for much longer.

Hofstra University has shown me the more colorful the food, the better. Eating vegetables does not need to be boring and bland, as shown with Hofstra’s dishes. They have taken a creative approach to make vegetables look and taste more appealing and appetizing. From flavorful breaded cauliflower and vegetable stir fry lunch to an on-the-go elevated cheese sandwich from Chef Alex, eating as a flexitarian is becoming more of a routine rather than a conscious choice.

Chef Alex with Vegetarian Sandwiches
Raina Rahman

It has been about half a year since I started my flexitarian lifestyle, and I have noticed some sizable results, such as clearer skin and more energy throughout the day. From eating meat every other day to only on the weekends, I do not crave meat as much as before. I satisfy my savory cravings with vegetables, such as mushrooms and eggplant, which are still high in protein, and I use vitamin supplements to make up for iron and B-12 deficiencies. With the help of my nutrition class offered at Hofstra and the app Dine On Campus, I am able to make a meal plan fit for my flexitarian preferences. With the success I have had with this lifestyle so far, I hope to transition to a completely vegetarian diet in the near future!

Deli Vegetarian Sandwich Orders
Raina Rahman

Before making any lifestyle changes, please consult a certified dietitian to make a safe transition and confirm the change is suitable and meets one’s nutritional needs. For more information about how to incorporate a more whole foods lifestyle at Hofstra University, please reach out to our campus dietitian Lauren Ciuffo, MS. 

Raina Rahman

Hofstra '24

Junior first-generation community health major with a passion for writing!